This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years, Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.
Some of you know that I learned to sew when I was 12 years old in my local 4-H club. I had a wonderful teacher who was dedicated to precision sewing, and over the next year or so I learned many techniques I still use today. Then I entered high school and found all my fashion needs met by the DI and the Gap, and during college I mostly pulled from my roomate’s closets (sorry Martha, Renae and Robin!) It wasn’t until I had my first daughter almost 6 years ago that I started to really get back into sewing, and since then knits have been on my cutting table more often than not. Although a normal serger is fantastic for construction, I found myself constantly frustrated over the last few years when trying to produce a really professional finish for hemming etc. I used a every finishing technique available to me, and still found myself dealing with the same problems over and over: snapped threads and skipped stitches. I would always ogle the hems of my ready-to-wear clothing and wish upon a star that I could reproduce those beautifully even straight stitches on the right side, with the beautiful serged backing on the wrong side. It was like the magical mystery of RTW, and I had no idea that it was possible to do at home! Once I did discover this incredible truth I later learned was called a coverstitch (straight stitch on top, serged finish on bottom), I knew I could never be happy in this life without one (not at all inclined to exaggeration here!)
When Miranda and I first began discussing a collaboration, there was never any question what it would be about. We are both crazy about sewing with knits, and it was only natural to want to talk about our mutual passion. As we worked and developed the series, we were so thrilled to partner with Baby Lock, whose serger and coverstitch machine would shine as the star of our series. Baby Lock provided both Miranda and me with a Diana serger as part of our collaboration for the series, and we have both wondered how in the world we ever got along without them. Not only is the Diana an amazing serger, but it quickly converts into a coverstitch machine–finally giving me the opportunity to (efficiently! It’s so much faster!) construct and finish my clothing professionally and functionally. No snapped threads, no skipped stitches, SO much stretch and all with the powerful and efficient precision of a serger. My world is now complete! I think I may have danced a little jig the first time I sewed with the coverstitch function, and I still get a little buzz with every subsequent project. I love this machine!
Today I’m going to show you how to thread the Diana, as well as how to convert it from serging mode to the coverstitch function, and you’ll be surprised at how quick and easy it is. Or maybe you won’t, this IS Baby Lock after all!
First up, how to thread the 4 thread mock safety stitch. This is what I most often use for construction, as it has the extra line of straight stitches that makes a nice tight and sturdy seam. This uses all four threads, so I will show you how to thread both the upper and lower loopers, as well as both the left and right needle.
Now let me demonstrate how to switch from serging to cover stitching. You can easily plan your construction so that do all your serging at once and then switch to finish off everything with your coverstitch, but just FYI, I don’t mind switching several times during the construction process, as it’s really no big deal.
And lastly, I’ll show you how to thread the Diana for coverstitching. One of the things that makes the Diana special threading-wise, is that it has a few shortcuts while threading the lower loopers (for both serging and coverstitching) that make it a painless and heartache-free process (those of you who have sergers already know that the lower loopers are the most difficult to get-at, and consequently the most frustrating to thread).
I hope these videos were helpful! I am giddy over the Diana, (who I lovingly refer to as the Princess), and am so happy to collaborate with Baby Lock to have her as the leading lady throughout our Stretch Yourself series!
More Stretch Yourself: